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5.0 von 5 Sternen Parker masterfully recreates the world of Dark Shadows
"Dark Shadows" fans have been anticpating this book for a LONG time. It's been 26 years since the last DS novel, and Lara Parker delivers book that was worth the wait. Angelique's Descent picks up where the series left off, sort of. Barnabas is cured, Angelique is a memory, and a measure of peace is evident at Colllinwood. This all changes when Barnabas...
Veröffentlicht am 20. November 1998 von J. Escobar

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3.0 von 5 Sternen A Must-Buy Book for DARK SHADOWS Fans
Penned by Lara Parker, who played Angelique on the original daytime soap opera, DARK SHADOWS, the novel, ANGELIQUE'S DESCENT is a must for fans of the eternally rerun series. The book is not without problems. At times, Parker's breathless prose leaves the reader wondering exactly what the author is trying to capture. The book is part research paper (all the...
Am 12. November 1998 veröffentlicht


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4.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining character study of an American cultural icon, 5. Dezember 1998
Von 
I was intrigued by the book, because Parker was the first actress to play Angelique, the chief villainess in the "Dark Shadows" TV series. For the uninitiated, Angelique was a beautiful witch who was obsessively in love with Barnabus Collins, who she turns into a vampire and then proceeds to haunt him back and forth over two centuries and two different dimensions. Most readers will be familiar with the characters, who have become minor icons of American culture. (The folk singer Kate Campbell sings about rushing home from school every afternoon to be terrified by Barnabus.)
The novel is Parker's tale of how Angelique became a witch during her childhood in the 18th-century French Caribbean colony of Martinique. The last fifth or so of the novel retells some events from the TV series. But most of it is a character study showing us a very nuanced picture of a girl who desperately sought to preserve her freedom and humanity in the face of terrible odds. Ultimately, she sells her soul to the devil - literally - but the reader finds it hard not to have some sympathy with her. Her "Faustian" bargain is not for knowledge, but rather for love and survival.
Her story does have some echoes of "Faust." It may be hard to picture Barnabus the vampire as a Gretchen figure, but in a way he is. And the fate of Angelique's mother has a definite parallel in "Faust."
Parker paints an engaging picture of Angelique growing up in Martinique's racially-mixed, slave-owning culture Angelique is initiated in the voodoo religion, and as a pubescent girl is possessed by a voodoo love "loa" (goddess) named Erzulie. For those adolescent boys who would have rather been pursued by Angelique than to date Marcia Brady, this will make total sense. The voodoo culture appears as threatening and scary, but also as a religion of self-defense among a very oppressed people.
Entertaining reading, especially for Dark Shadows fans. It certainly makes her obsession with Barnabus much more coherent, and Barnabus considerably less of an innocent victim than fans of the series may remember
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Parker masterfully recreates the world of Dark Shadows, 20. November 1998
Von 
J. Escobar (Weslaco TX USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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"Dark Shadows" fans have been anticpating this book for a LONG time. It's been 26 years since the last DS novel, and Lara Parker delivers book that was worth the wait. Angelique's Descent picks up where the series left off, sort of. Barnabas is cured, Angelique is a memory, and a measure of peace is evident at Colllinwood. This all changes when Barnabas finds Angeliuque's diary. Parker skillfully weaves her story back and forth between events in the present, to the untold story of Angelique's past and the genesis of the triangle between Barnabas, Josette, and Angelique.
The book is compelling. Parker obviously researched the superstitions and customs of the slave culture of Martinique. At times one almost feels as if she is writing an historical novel; the settings and characters seem so real. More importantly, the reader can empathize with Angelique and understand her motivations. On TV, she was the witch you LOVED TO HATE. Rarely did the viewer truly sympathize with her. In her book, Parker evokes compassion for the abused child who strikes back the only way she knows how.
If the book has a flaw, it might be Parker's choice to start the series with Barnabas cured of the vampire curse. It might be hard for those unfamiliar with the show to comprehend that this story is partly about a guy who USED to be a vampire. Those who vaguely remember the show might be disappointed that Barnabas is not what they remembered him to be.
This is not an overwhelming obstacle. The meat of the book takes place in the past anyway. Fans of fantasy and gothic horror would enjoy this book regardless of whether or not they watched the show. Parker was careful to keep the plot self contained. Essentially, she is beginning the series anew. So sit back, relax and enter the world of Dark Shadows!
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3.0 von 5 Sternen A Must-Buy Book for DARK SHADOWS Fans, 12. November 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Penned by Lara Parker, who played Angelique on the original daytime soap opera, DARK SHADOWS, the novel, ANGELIQUE'S DESCENT is a must for fans of the eternally rerun series. The book is not without problems. At times, Parker's breathless prose leaves the reader wondering exactly what the author is trying to capture. The book is part research paper (all the ingredients of Caribbean voodoo are simply vomited onto the page by the author), part bodice-ripper (the sex that was very subverted in DARK SHADOWS is far too overt here to remain faithful to the story), part vampire novel (not too much vampirism), and part "local color" (regarding the use of vernacular for dialogue that at times is alternately hilarious and stereotyped). The plot is predictable, with the few twists foreshadowed so obviously by the author that it would take a truly inexperienced reader to miss them long before they come. Angelique's eyes change from sea-green to aster-blue...not exactly the same color, but I am nit-picking. The book is a quick read, albeit not totally satisfying for the DARK SHADOWS fan. What is the Collins Estate without the Old House? Why in heaven or hell's names would Barnabas Collins--the vampire Americans came to love to hate to love--burn down the mansion? Barnabas and Julia's relationship is certainly believable. Parker's handling of dialogue with regard to pre-existing characters is exceptional. Finally, the plantation where Angelique is held captive by her "father," Theodore Bouchard, also foreshadows Angelique's life at Collinwood (and conjures up images of Val Lewton's eerie film, I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE). While I was not overwhelmed by the novel, I was truly thankful that the book appeared in print after long-discussed plans by Pierson et al at Dan Curtis Productions. The ending is predictable, but certainly leaves room for a sequel that will be as anticipated as this first outing. Like the series' beginning, the book is uneven; however, like the series, I believe the series of novels will quickly find its own "dark Camelot" where reality need not intrude to break the spell of DARK SHADOWS.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen At last! A continuation of the original series!, 7. November 1998
Von 
Mark Thomas Passmore (St. Petersburg, FL USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Wow! What a surprise to pick this book up and discover that not only does it tell the origins of Barnabas and Angelique's relationship back in Martinique, but it kicks off a new series picking up in the summer of 1971 where the series left off! Lara Parker has woven a wonderfull tale of romance and supernatural suspense in telling the life story of the character she played on the television series. She obviously has given the matter a great deal of thought in that she gives to Angelique far more motivation and understanding in how and why she became such a "seemingly" evil witch in the late 1700's. Some of the storyline was shown or talked about in the original series. But this was all from Barnabas' point of view. As we all know, there are two sides to every story and this novel clarifies many aspects of that story by presenting another side. I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised at Lara Parker's ability to write. Her style is almost lyrically descriptive in the way it draws you into this strange world of the past. Often, an actor writing about their own character only does justice to themselves. But Lara gives "voice" to some of the others with such skill, there were moments where I could visualize the actor's performance with stunning clarity. Even with no knowledge of Dark Shadows, "Angelique's Descent" is a book that anyone interested in "gothic romance" would enjoy. As a long time Dark Shadows fan, I look forward to the continuation of this series. As an avid reader, I look forward to Lara Parker writing again, whether it be Dark Shadows or not.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Unexpected background, tension weaver, fab viewpoint, 31. Dezember 1998
Well, Angelique's clothes are too much and those ringlets! And, yes, her eyes do change colors, like opals, her trademark is her style. I wanted the background to not be so steeped in voodoo, or slavery, reminded me of the recent Tempest with Peter Fonda on tv; sometimes it gets "vile" for frolicking Dark Shadows fans; the middle about how Barnabas betrayed her was what we are all looking for and rings exactly right, though I would have liked to hear him say why Josette suddenly moved him; Angelique's reason for being more than upset with him is logical, but I, too, like her, did not want to see her in a maid position, I wanted to see her dressed up more and commanding like in the second Dark Shadows movie, Night of Dark Shadows. This book gripped me in how Angelique fell for Barnabas and how he was reserved and passionate at the same time. I'd like it to have been more blunt, but then I don't like flowery romances, because neither Barnabas or Angelique are really flowery anyway, but where the sentimentality was required, it was right in step. The ending was rushed, but again, that bluntness was nice especially after so much historical reading, and I would have liked to see the chemistry and power play that is behind Julia and Barnabas played off more because Julia must surely be jealous of Angelique! Really liked and breezed through in one lap, so I could not put it down
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Literate, entertaining historical/romantic/occult fiction., 17. November 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Bravo, Lara Parker! You have given "Dark Shadows" fans a real treat: a well-researched, well-written and engrossing tale about the character you made famous on daytime television, the bewitching Angelique. The novel, which is in the best tradition of the historical romantic fiction of Daphne DuMaurier and Dorothy Eden, stands on its own as a valid, plausible work. Ms. Parker infuses her characters with an intriguing eroticism that could only be hinted at on TV 30 years ago. The author delves deep into the world of Afro-Caribbean history and religion, which are central to Angelique's story. If fault is to be found with the book, it is this reader's aversion to the use of rather florid, purple descriptions of the characters' romantic encounters. These "bodice-ripper" scenes detract from the otherwise fine quality of the writing. Additionally, the last chapters are rather abrupt in their narrative, and one feels rushed to the book's conclusion. Nevertheless, Ms. Parker is to be lauded for her inventive twists on this seemingly familiar tragedy. Highly recommended to both "oldtimers" and new fans of the series.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Must-Read For All Dark Shadows Fans, 19. Januar 1999
The basic theme of Dark Shadows has always been that people are faced with an inexorable fate, trapped in roles written by others, and though they may try to free themselves, fate will always win. Lara Parker continues this theme in her new book. As a child Angelique is pre-ordained to become a tool of the devil. No matter what she does, she cannot escape her fate and her journey from a little girl to an immortal is fascinating, well thought-out and surprising. Best of all is the section dealing with Barnabas' transformation into a vampire. If you are fan of the series, you know everything that happened during this beloved flashback. This time, you see all of the events through Angelique's eyes and it is a very different view. Also, the book gives Angelique a much stronger motivation for her undying hatred for the Collins family. Lara hints that this book is the first in a series. I hope that this is so and I definitely plan to devour any forthcoming books. The book ends in 1971, so Lara has a lot of writing to do to catch us up with life in Collinsport.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Good, if somewhat flawed., 18. Januar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Lara Parker has woven an evocative, satisfying tale of Angelique's childhood. Her concern for characterization is evident, and she has apparently taken pains to stay faithful to the original series. Particularly, her depiction of the relationship between Barnabas and Julia is well-nuanced and in keeping with the sensibilities of most "fan fiction." However, I was a little surprised that no one (editor or author) noticed the incorrect relationships between Barnabas and the present-day Collinses. Also somewhat disappointing is that the book's final hundred pages are little more than a re-telling of the series episodes. This was a worthy first effort, though, and I hope Ms. Parker follows up with a sequel that treads a new direction.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellant biography of a fictional character, 23. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Lara Parker does a excellant job taking a character already established and making a past for her that is so realistic that it is almost a anti-climax when she gets to the part that was already handled on the television show. You become very involved in the life of the young Angelique and it is very interesting that she invlolved Barnabas into the young life. Her descent into the evil that becomes such a part of her later life is fascinating and you better understand her betrayal of her best friend. I also liked that she involved Barnabas and Julia together finding the diary and becoming so involved in reading it like a addiction that you can't fight even though you know you should. I was very happy with the book and could find no major flaws,
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A good start of a new series, like a visit from old friends, 5. Januar 1999
Von 
John Leasure (Portsmouth, Ohio USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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A tad over written in places, this is a nice first effort by Ms. Parker in recapturing what was, in my youth, my favorite TV show. Admittedly from Angelique's standpoint makes this sometimes a bit much to take (in the show Angelique was pure evil and showed little remorse at any time, the book tries to 'explain' this away) but does lend insight into the character's background. I look forward to more books dealing with the Collins of the present and how Barnabas gets out of marrying Julia. And what of David, Roger and Carolyn and Elizabeth? As I said, I look forward to more visits from old friends.
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